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15+ Free and Paid Resources to Learn Python 15+ Free and Paid Resources to Learn Python
Python is one of the most significant skills you’ll need not only in data science but in any position in the development/tech world. It’s... 15+ Free and Paid Resources to Learn Python

Python is one of the most significant skills you’ll need not only in data science but in any position in the development/tech world. It’s used in a variety of fields and has a reputation for being easy to learn and simple to use. Here are 15+ free and paid resources to learn Python.

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What is Python?

Python is an object-oriented programming language with an emphasis on simplicity. It’s dynamic, functions well as a “glue language,” and reduces the cost of maintenance because of its readability. 

It boasts a fast edit-test-debug cycle. It also has an extensive documentation library and is available for free across all major platforms. You can freely distribute it and participate in its thriving community of developers.

Learning Python puts you on the first step to a career in a variety of fields. Because it’s ubiquitous, a foundational language like Python is often one of the core requirements for working with various organizations in diverse fields as finance and healthcare. Here are a few resources that can help get you started.

Free Python Resources for Beginners

Free is best, and because Python is widely available, there are a lot of resources. These would be a great place to start if you don’t have any experience.

Documentation and Programs

Codecademy: Absolute beginners can take advantage of Codecademy’s beginner courses designed to lead you carefully through a series of basic tasks. They’re easy to follow, feature real-time instructions, and are available to practice whenever you have five minutes or more to devote to learning. When you’re ready, you can upgrade to the Pro version and access real-world projects for further practice.

TwilioQuest: TwilioQuest is a unique, interactive game adventure designed to teach Python basics through a fun, 16-bit game. Once you get through the basics, you can continue to develop your skills through advanced missions designed to teach web APIs, and the program adds new missions regularly.

Courses

edX + Microsoft’s Python for Absolute Beginners: edX.org offers a Python for Absolute Beginners course for free designed to introduce beginners with no development experience in text-based programming to the language. You can take the course asynchronously and for free.

Coursera + U of Michigan’s Getting Started with Python: Coursera also offers a basic course designed for beginners to Python. It uses only basic mathematics and simple projects. Anyone with basic computer experience can take it.

Books

Learn Python the Hard Way by Zed Shaw: This one is a classic and uses an interesting approach. You type in the exercises as they are and make the program run. It’s a bit dry, but it works.

Automate Boring Stuff with Python by Al Sweigart: Another classic and great for those who need practical examples to learn information. It teaches you to build simple, automated applications and is excellent to use in tandem with courses or programs like Codecademy.

Free Resources for Experienced Developers New to Python

If you don’t want to start from the absolute beginning, there are some fun resources to help you learn.

Documentation and Programs

python.org: Head directly to the source for downloads and documentation resources. It has everything you need to install, get started on projects, ask questions, and find solutions.

learnpython.org: The interactive website is targeted towards those interested in Python for Data Science (plus!) and works whether you’re a beginner or experienced developer. 

pythonanywhere.com: This is a full-fledged Python environment designed to get you coding right away without downloads or installations. It offers a basic plan that’s good for developers wanting to play around with no commitment.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Python: A collection of documentation resources for those looking to get into Python. It’s best with some development experience. It’s a living document and offers an opinionated resource to anyone interested in the language.

Courses

Google’s Python Class: Google itself is powered by Python, and its tutorial is designed for both beginners or experienced developers looking for a way to get into Python. 

pythonspot.com: Pythonspot is another collection of tutorials designed to bring you into the world of Python quickly and effectively. It’s clean, simple, and straightforward with lessons you can do in your own time. 

Crash into Python: Also known as “Python for Programmers with 3 Hours,” this basic tutorial is slide-based and should cover the basics for experienced developers who just need the basic functions of Python.

Paid Resources for Beginners and Beyond

If you’ve got a budget, you might want to expand your world to some of these paid resources.

edX + IBM’s Python Data Science Professional Certification: While you can technically take this for free, official certification comes with a fee. In return, you get a fast, easy to implement certification with modules spanning everything you’ll need to know to implement Python within the data science field.

Udacity’s Python for Data Science: A fully led course with the fundamentals for a rewarding career in data science with Python, Command-Line, and Git.

Udemy’s 30 Days of Python: Instructor Justin Mitchel takes you through a wide range of capabilities in just 30 days with this course. If you’ve got experience programming, it will give you everything you need to master the language. Total beginner? Not a problem. It can get you started, too.

Bonus! Newsletters to Stay Up-to-Date

Keep up with the latest in resources to learn Python with a few of these free newsletters.

Python Weekly: A roundup of the best Python articles and resources, plus updates and events related to Python.

Awesome Python Newsletter: Another resource for updates and events happening around Python with extensive archives for past resources.

PyCoders’ Weekly: News from the development world and Python community.

opendatascience.com: ODSC’s general weekly newsletter provides members with trending topics in the fields of modeling, tools & platforms, resources to learn Python, and more.

Getting Started with Python

[Related Article: How Do You Do an Arithmetic Expression Using Python?]

Python is one of the most popular languages in data science and has far-reaching applications across a variety of fields. Getting started opens you up to a range of career opportunities and offers you the chance to build your skillset. Get started with one of these resources to learn Python and check that skill off your list.


Want to learn more about Python? Attend ODSC East 2020 this April 13-17 in Boston and learn more Python tricks from the leading experts in AI who use Python daily.

Elizabeth Wallace

Elizabeth Wallace, ODSC

Elizabeth is a Nashville-based freelance writer with a soft spot for startups. She spent 13 years teaching language in higher ed and now helps startups and other organizations explain - clearly - what it is they do. Connect with her on LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/elizabethawallace/

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